A new WordPress update came out today and it got me thinking that most people don’t realize how important it is to keep the software that runs your website up-to-date. Before we dive into that, though, I want to give you some backstory so you’ll understand why this is an issue.
A Little Bit of Backstory…
Websites used to be just simple text files consisting of a language called HTML with some graphic files linked to make it look nice. This was simple and relatively secure, so the only worries when it came to security was typical system-level security. (Y’know, making sure that someone can’t break into the actual computer that hosts your website…) This is the type of security that people were already used to dealing with.
As the web became more widely used and more people wanted an easier we to contribute content to the web, content management systems began to be developed. These were far more complex than simple HTML under-the-hood, but they presented simple interfaces for users to add and update content. This was very convenient and became widely adopted. In fact, the majority of websites these days use some sort of content management system. The most popular one being WordPress. There’s a very good chance that your website is based on one of these content management systems.
In computer science, there is a concept that the more lines of programming code there are in a piece of software, the more bugs there will be. This is true on the web as well. Content management systems introduced the possibility for a website to be vulnerable through bugs in the actual web site code, rather than just bugs in the server software. These days, the majority of website hacks that are perpetrated are due to flaws in the content management systems that run the sites.
Now that you understand why this issue even exists, you’ll see why updates to these content management systems are necessary. These updates usually fix security vulnerabilities or functionality problems that the developers of the content management systems learn about. If you’re not updating your CMS, it’s only a matter of time before your site will fall victim to a hacker who is looking for an easy target.
If you’re unsure if your website is being updated or even if you’re unsure what content management system it uses, we can certainly give you a hand with that. We also offer a monthly website maintenance service where we update your CMS software, backup your website, scan it for potential malware infection and clean any spam comments that may have been left by malicious people. We can also implement additional site security, functionality or even remake and rebrand your entire site. If anything in this article has given you cause for concern or raised any questions, please feel free to give us a call at 505-872-9040 and we can help you clear up any questions or issues that you may have.